Our son goes to college in Connecticut (and we used to live on the submarine base in Groton, CT a long time ago) so we visit quite often and always try the lobster rolls when we are there. We have sampled this local cuisine from many different places and have now determined our favorite two restaurants. Here are our options for the best lobster rolls in Connecticut.
Brief History of the Lobster Roll
The first documented lobster roll was served in a Milford, Connecticut restaurant – Perry’s in 1929. This hot buttered grilled lobster on white sandwich bread gained popularity up and down the coast but stayed a primarily local delicacy. The restaurant designed a bun with a local bakery with a V-shaped cut in the top that would hold the lobster and be easy to grill as well – the birth of the Connecticut-style lobster roll.
In 1965, a restaurant in New York started selling a cold version of the lobster sandwich with mayo (and sometimes celery) called The Lobster Roll, and this started the New England style or lobster salad roll.
These rolls can now be found all over the East Coast, but we haven’t found ones as good as Connecticut, and our preference is definitely the Connecticut style lobster roll vs the New England style lobtser salad roll.
The Best Lobster Rolls in Connecticut
Here are our two favorite restaurants: Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough and Ford’s Lobsters.
Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough
117 Pearl Street, Noank, CT 06340
We have been eating here since 1994 when we lived here and it is still just as delicious. It is a seasonal restaurant open from sometime in May to October. It has primary outdoor seating, accessible by car or boat, and you can bring your own alcoholic drinks with you. Its menu has items such as mussels, clams, short ribs, tuna salad, chicken salad, soups, and others, but its main attractions are the lobster and crab rolls.
The order counter is outside, and there is usually a line to order, but it moves quickly. This has been especially nice during COVID-19 since everyone can be socially distant and you are outside the whole time. Once you order your food, they will call out your number at the pickup counter, and you can then take it outside to a table.
The lobster and crab rolls are served buttered, hot, and are on a brioche roll. We opted for the OMG Lobster Roll which almost 1/2 pound of sweet buttered lobster on the roll, and it is absolutely delicious. The crab roll is so good too, but our favorite is by far the lobster roll.
The dining area is a lot of picnic tables outside around the water and is a beautiful view to eat the most amazing sandwiches.
15 Riverview Avenue
Noank, Connecticut 06340
Another restaurant that we have more recently found is Ford’s Lobsters which also has amazing lobster rolls, but it also has something called the Bisque Bomb. Ford’s Lobsters does not have outdoor dining so right now (during COVID-19), we called ahead and prepaid and picked up our to-go order.
We frequently get lobster rolls here (you can see them in our photo above while eating them in the car), but the Bisque Bomb is what we dream of here. It is a creamy lobster bisque service in a toasted bread bowl topped with loose sweet lobster pieces. It is a feast that will curb your hunger for days, so don’t eat a lot before trying this. It definitely is an experience. It is a little pricey but worth it to satisfy your lobster cravings for a while.
Both of these restaurants are a lobster lover’s dream and have the best lobster rolls in Connecticut. We highly recommend trying them – especially the bisque bomb at Ford’s Lobsters.